Monday, June 9, 2014

#38 - American Rye Tasting

The idea of brewing a citra and rye beer has been with me for a while now an the idea of a citrusy, light, summer beer is an idea I've played with in a few ways over the years.  This beer is decent but is also a learning experience in a few ways.

Aroma- pours a very cloudy khaki color with just a small layer of head that sticks around for a while. The beer appears to be cloudy from the rye proteins, but hop particulate is also visible.  Looks a little like a hefeweizen though the cloudiness doesn't seem to be from the yeast as much as the other factors.

Smell- Big citrus character: fresh grapefruit and candied lemon peel. There's also a dank melon smell and a little crackery graininess.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Surprisingly disappointing giving the huge nose. Up front offers very little flavor on the tongue with a watery, light grapefruit and grainy flavors that fades to moderately high bitterness on the back of the throat leaving a lingering grapefruit impression. 

The beer seems a bit watery but this is likely as much or more from the low carbonation than any real issues with the body. That said, I did miss my target OG and a slightly higher starting gravity and finishing gravity may have helped.

Overall- the beer goes down pretty easily (as it should at only 4.5% abv) but isn't nearly as flavorful or exciting as it should be. The low carbonation likely plays a part in the lack of hoppy "pop" on the tongue.  In the end it tastes like a more citrusy and less fruity British Bitter due to the low hop flavors, moderate body, and bitterness and lack of carbonation.

Were I to attempt this beer again I would either cut or raise the rye amount to make it more of a back note or dominant flavor rather than standing out but not taking over as it does here. I would also use a more traditional hop schedule with some hops added in the last 10-15 minutes in hopes of upping the hop flavor, while also moving some of the flame out hops to dry hop to further diversify the hop character and keep bitterness levels relatively tame. A slight raise in the carbonation level might also help with the perceived hoppiness.  Lastly, this is a beer that could really have used Irish moss as it just doesn't seem to be clearing at all.

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